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I was recently contacted by a person who had been declined by an insurance company (pretty much an every day occurrence here). This person had been treated for depression for quite a while, but successfully treated.

The person was leading a normal, stable life. Family, job, the whole thing has gone on without a hitch for the past several years. The hitch (for the insurance company) was that a few years ago this person’s doctor switched her to a medication generally only used for bipolar disorder. Not that it’s not effective for depression, because it is, but this person being on Lamictal led the insurance company to decline the application without ever pulling medical records. A bipolar drug was enough for them to freak out and go screaming into the dark.

It is this underwriting mindset that leaves so many people in this country believing that they are uninsurable when, with the right independent agent and the right companies, that conclusion could not be any further from true.

I think to a very large degree it is the average life insurance agent out there that is the problem. They know how to pitch the product and fill out applications. When they are lucky enough to find a completely healthy client, place a policy and get paid, they believe they are in fact a life insurance agent.

It is this same lame excuse for an agent who will pitch the product and fill out the application and submit it, not knowing what question Lamictal might raise, that really messes up the business and gives a lot of people the idea that life insurance companies are unfair. Anytime there is a chance that an underwriter might do the unexpected, the case should be shopped. Lay it all out there and let the underwriter with his or her head screwed on right win the day. Take the business where they have already heard the details and know that there is more to the story than what appears on the cover.

Bottom line. Depression, anxiety and bipolar are all issues that, as long as they are well controlled and properly shopped, can produce very positive results for the person wanting fair rates on their life insurance. How do you know if the agent you are dealing with is the right agent? How do you know they have a clue? Ask them questions about your issues and see if they understand them. Quiz them about their success rate on those kind of issues. Don’t just listen to the pitch, throw it against the wall and see if it sticks.